Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

MLB Players Better Known by Nicknames

Yahoo Contributor Network

Larry Wayne Jones is retiring after 17 stellar years with the Atlanta Braves. Larry who? With the exception of New York Mets fans, most people would wonder who this Larry person is. Yet fans instantly recognize the name of future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones. "Chipper" is the childhood nickname Jones earned for being "a chip off the old block" in regards to his father.

Baseball has always loved nicknames. From "The Big Unit" to "The Big Hurt," baseball players have been known by some interesting titles over the years. But a few have become so synonymous with their nicknames that it is the only way fans recognize them. And I am not talking about shortening Anthony to Tony. No, these nicknames have pizazz.

Much like Larry Wayne, here is a look at the top 10 nicknamed players of all time:

1. Mookie Wilson (Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets) 1980-91: William Hayward Wilson has an almost regal ring to it. But this is baseball, therefore he is forever known as "Mookie." Mookie was actually a family nickname from Wilson. Apparently, when Wilson was young, he had an unusual way of pronouncing the word "milk." The nickname stuck, which probably signified he was destined for the big-league stardom. And let's be honest, Mookie is fun to say. Try it.

2. Catfish Hunter (Kansas City A's, Oakland A's, New York Yankees) 1965-79: Born James Augustus Hunter, his given name got him to the majors. But during an interview, the A's owner invented a story about Hunter being an avid fisherman. And one of the all-time great nicknames began.

3. Boog Powell (Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers) 1961-77:

John Wesley Powell was a bit of a handful as a child. This earned him the nickname of "Booger." No, not that kind of booger. Instead, booger was short for boogeyman. While the nickname stuck, I am sure Powell was grateful that the "er" was dropped.

4. Pee Wee Reese (Brooklyn Dodgers, Los Angeles Dodgers) 1940-58: Before Harold Henry Reese was a great baseball player, he was a champion marble player. That is where he earned the nickname, according to his estate's official website.

5. Dizzy Trout (Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles) 1939-57: There may have been other players called "Dizzy," but Paul Howard Trout had the best one-two punch. Seriously, think of the literal interpretation of the full name. Every time I picture a dizzy trout, it makes me chuckle.

6. Pie Traynor (Pittsburgh Pirates) 1920-1937: Growing up, Harold Joseph Traynor had a thing for pie. This led to a childhood nickname that would follow him throughout his career. Much like Catfish Hunter and Dizzy Trout, Traynor's last name sets him apart. I am not sure what is involved, but I would like to be a pie trainer as well.

7. Gabby Hartnett (Chicago Cubs, New York Giants) 1922-41: Charles Leo Hartnett must have been quite a talker to earn the nickname "Gabby." But it stuck, and we are glad it did.

8. Yogi Berra (New York Yankees, New York Mets) 1946-65: Lawrence Peter Berra is one of the most colorful figures in baseball history. He received the nickname "Yogi" from a childhood friend. The friend mentioned that Berra resembled a Hindu yogi in a movie. Somehow, the name followed him for life.

9. Chili Davis (California Angels, San Francisco Giants, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Kansas City Royals) 1981-99: Charles Theodore Davis had one of my favorite nicknames of all time. In fact, I was unaware he had not been christened "Chili" by his parents until I flipped over his baseball card. For years, I annoyed people by adding "Davis" every time the word "chili" or "chilly" was used.

10. Chipper Jones (Atlanta Braves) 1995-2012: Larry Wayne Jones will always be Chipper. His father must be one heck of a guy if Chipper is a chip off the old block.

Christopher Beheler is a Georgia native and lifelong Atlanta Braves fan.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments (10)